I have decided to share with you this month 30 different homemade gifts that you or your crafty neighbour can make for Christmas. Typically in our house we don’t have a lot of money for Christmas presents, and I, personally, think it’s ridiculous to spend hundreds of dollars on presents that will break down in the following year. I also think it equally stupid to spend the money I don’t have on things people don’t want/need – like mugs (I’m pretty sure everyone I know has about 100 in their cupboards from various gifts from other people…they don’t need another). Yes, they’re a super easy gift – but they also have zero thought to them. AND, sometimes they’re from the dollar store – gasp…horrors.
I have to say my sister-in-law is one of the best gift givers that I know. She buys most of her gifts in January when everything is on sale. She even buys clothes (I do not know how she always gets the right size!) and other equally practical things. BUT…I’m a chicken when it comes to buying other people clothes so I don’t. Soooooo…I decided to peruse the internet and check out some diy projects that everyone can do from advanced to beginner…and the catch? I’m going to try them all out before I post them and give you my opinion on the difficulty, etc. Now…don’t be shocked if you have to buy a pattern – I respect those people who sell their patterns and I will not share them. As a small business owner I understand how difficult it often is to make money – however, that said, if I can find a free tutorial on something that was previously in a book…I will not hesitate to post the link. Sometimes people tweak things and change them up from the “copy-righted” version – and really, I’m sure most of these patterns have been around for 100 years – you’re really going to try to copyright a tote bag pattern? Seriously? Yup…I’m a free pattern girl but I have broken down and started buying some patterns, especially for sewing.
Don’t be surprised if you also see some items reposted that I’ve blogged about before – because you may have forgotten about these wonderful gifts. =)
Anyhoo…today’s is a Crocheted Nativity Set.
This pattern is the best one that I have found. It is a bought pattern, but it only cost me 7.99 plus like 3 cents for something (maybe US to Canadian?) It took about two weeks to arrive (which was awesome). You can find it here at Gourmetcrochet.com under the Happy Holidays heading. This took me about a week for everything you see pictured above. I didn’t get Joseph’s staff done or any animals – BUT, now that I know the pattern I could probably whip it up in less time. One person who wrote about it said she started this project only a couple weeks after she had started learning to crochet – that’s how easy this pattern is. Simple to follow and easy enough for a beginner. It is almost all single crochet in the round (I say almost because some pieces obviously aren’t, like the manger). I also liked this pattern because it is great for kids to play with – and what better way to teach your children about Christmas than to let them play with the pieces.
I do want to try making a background for our set. I saw some neat ones online
This one was created by an amigurumi expert – however, there is no pattern. It looks like it is stiffened with cardboard and plastic canvas or something…you can also buy the pattern for this set (which looks much more involved) here. I saw another one that is similar to a sewn pattern that I have here on Ebay. So I might have to try sewing one – that pattern will be another day.
There are some free patterns out there but I haven’t tried them and, to be honest…I wasn’t overly impressed with what I did see. One pattern called for the styrofoam cones (yeah, I’m not spending that much money on a simple project)…but if you’re into that type of thing I will post a few links there for free patterns:
Styrofoam cone pattern – http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/nativity-set
This is actually in Spanish but I know you can translate pages – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/amigurumi-christmas-navidad-set-1-2
Shepherds – finger puppet style http://6ichthusfish.typepad.com/6ichthusfish/2010/11/shepherds-nativity-figures-or-finger-puppets.html
Angel – finger puppet style – make sure you make it a boy angel, though…theology people!!! http://6ichthusfish.typepad.com/6ichthusfish/2010/11/little-angel-joins-the-nativity-set.html
3 Wise Men – finger puppet style (although REALLY wise men were not at the stable, hehe)http://6ichthusfish.typepad.com/6ichthusfish/2010/11/crochet-nativity-figuresthe-three-wise-kings.html
Mary, Joseph, and Baby finger puppet style – ttp://6ichthusfish.typepad.com/6ichthusfish/2010/10/crochet-nativity-figures.html
WHEW! This post has been a long one. Hopefully the rest aren’t as long. But…these make great gifts, especially for families with small children. I plan on giving away a couple myself this year. Check back tomorrow for another great Homemade Gift!
Check out the other Handmade Gift Ideas!